Chinese search engine Baidu.com (BIDU) has signed an agreement with UiTV.com, an online broadcaster in China, to invest the resources of its movie channel v.baidu.com into UiTV.com for CNY100 million and a 8.3% stake in UiTV.com.
Baidu started its own online movie business in 2005 with about 30 employees to promote a paid service. However, because of operating problems, the business shifted to a free model in October 2006. In October 2007, v.baidu.com formally launched its online ordering business and on November 15, 2007, it jointly launched an interactive TV service with UiTV.com.
Ren Xuyang, vice president for Baidu's market and business expansion, told local media that to invest the capital of v.baidu.com into UiTV.com will help UiTV.com gain greater advantages in its market competition while Baidu can also gain profits as a shareholder of UiTV.com.
Previous to this, Baidu cooperated with Hexun.com to develop its finance channel through outsourcing, which led to a displacement of some employees. If the cooperation with UiTV.com follows the same trend, another round of layoffs will be unavoidable. However, Baidu denies that they will cut jobs.